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'Great news for the city' - Praise for plans to bring multi-million pound arena to Sunderland city centre

Ambitious proposals to create an £80million arena on the site of the former Crowtree Leisure Centre in Sunderland have been welcomed by many.

Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 4:55 am

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Outline plans for the project, which were unveiled on Monday, January 31, also feature a food hall, hotel, restaurants and studios alongside the multi-purpose venue, which will have a capacity of 10,000 people.

And the Sunderland community has had its say on the plans, with many hailing the creation of an arena as “another positive development” for the city, which they hope will attract big-name artists and encourage further investment on Wearside.

Speaking on Monday, Sunderland City Council leader Cllr Graeme Miller said the local authority is “determined” to expand the experiences on offer in the city.

Sunderland City Council leader Cllr Graeme Miller at the former Crowtree site. Picture: Creo.

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“We’re transforming Sunderland – we’re delivering on our promises to residents – and we’re proud to be spearheading a programme of change in Sunderland that is unlike any period of change in living memory,” he added.

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As readers looked to Sunderland’s future, some asked questions about new infrastructure for additional parking and transport, as well as investment in other industries, which would further enable people to support their local economy.

If the city council’s cabinet approves the proposed budget for the project, the arena scheme will then move into the next design stage.

How the proposed new arena on the former Crowtree site could look. Picture: Creo.

Here’s how you reacted to the proposals on the Sunderland Echo Facebook page:

Sam Riches: “Brilliant news for the city.”

Barry Holyoak: “It’s got to be good news, the town centre is crying out for redevelopment.”

Dave Goldsmith: “Great news – attract the best bands.”

Echo readers have been having their say on the plans for an £80million arena. Picture: Creo.

Gary Graham: “Great idea and concept. But surely it makes sense to make the arena bigger so it will compete with others in attracting big names acts? Plus I hope transportation has been factored in.”

Yvonne Collins: “This is fantastic news for the city. For the first time in ages I think we can actually look forward to the developments in the city centre.”

Trevor Bone: “Been saying for years we need a decent music venue to showcase all the great talent we have in Sunderland.”

Martin Bert Barker: “Love all this investment.”

David Metcalf: “This is great news and hopefully it happens, an arena would be great for the city.”

Carole Burns: “Brilliant news, so pleased more investment is being made in the city centre.”

Paul Fazakerley: “Great news and another positive development for Sunderland.”

John Nesbitt: “Great news for the city, it will take time but we need our own facilities.”

Patsy Murray: “Any improvement is good, but don't make it too expensive and out of reach.”

Paul Scrafton: “Absolutely brilliant news! I remember when the Stack Seaburn was first announced and 95% of the comments were negative and look at its success even opening in the middle of a pandemic.”

Graeme Collinson: “It's all good reinventing the city and I'm all for it but you also need a job balance to go with it.”

Kay Renwick: “Exactly what the city needs, bring business back into the city centre too.”

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